In a win for climate action, H.439, a bill to increase the funding of weatherization efforts in Vermont, passed the House and now moves onto the Senate.
The bill increases the fuels tax by 2 cents a gallon, which will bring in an additional $4.5 million in revenue for weatherization projects for low income households. Weatherizing Vermont’s old housing stock is absolutely imperative when it comes to reducing our state’s carbon emissions – but the benefits of weatherization don’t end there – the potential for decreased energy bills, improved health, and more investment in Vermont’s economy are many, and they are proven.
This is a great step forward, but to be sure, it isn’t going to be enough to reduce our carbon emissions in the timeline necessary to hit our state’s targets. When the session began in January of this year, VPIRG, our members, and two dozen allied organizations were pushing for doubling both low and moderate income weatherization, which would require approximately $11 million. The House passed a little under half of that. Though this is a step in the right direction, it must be the first of many.
From here, the bill goes to the Senate, where we will work to strengthen it.
So we’re celebrating this win, but we’re looking forward to the bigger and better climate action we will be taking in the future. Ever onward!